In the pilot episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah, after quitting her unpaid internship, estimates that she can only last in New York City for “Three and a half more days. Maybe seven if I don’t eat lunch.” Hannah encompassed the plight of many 20-somethings in New York who come to pursue their dreams, but realize that is quite hard to do when you are living in an expensive city.
However, it turns out Hannah’s counterparts in other cities in the world may have actually only lasted for two days sans lunch as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 survey was just released and New York didn’t even make the Top 10. In fact, no North American cities made it. So where are the world’s most expensive cities?
Asia and Europe are all about the $$
- Paris, France
- Zürich, Switzerland
- Hong Kong, SAR, China
- Oslo, Norway
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Seoul, South Korea
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sydney, Australia
The Economist came up with the rankings by comparing the prices of 150 basic commodities including bread, wine, gasoline, etc., bottle of wine, pack of 20 cigarettes, liter of gasoline, etc., For the fifth year in a row, Singapore landed on top as prices are 16% higher than in New York, which was a benchmark city in the study.
Many Asian cities, including Hong Kong and Seoul, are seeing the cost of living surge as these cities expand at fast rates and items like basic groceries see inflated prices. Car ownership is also extremely expensive in Singapore but the cost of domestic help and household items are actually relatively reasonable there.
Paris moved from spot No. 7 to No. 2 with only the price of alcohol and transportation being somewhat reasonable when compared to other cities in Europe. New York and Los Angeles took 13th and 14th place respectively, which is a drop from last year. Tel Aviv was the only Middle Eastern city to make the cut, coming in at ninth.
New York and Los Angeles FTW
But if you were thinking New York and L.A. weren’t expensive, think again. The report also ranked the most expensive cities in North America and New York and L.A. took the top spots (domestic help and utilities continue to keep these cities quite expensive), followed by Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. out of 16 cities in total. Atlanta was found to be the cheapest.
- New York, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Minneapolis, MN
- San Francisco, CA
- Washington, D.C.
- Chicago, IL
- Vancouver, CA
- Houston, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Pittsburgh, PA
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